Chicago supergroup Lifted Bells carry a torch for emo on their debut album, Minor Tantrums | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Chicago supergroup Lifted Bells carry a torch for emo on their debut album, Minor Tantrums 

click to enlarge Lifted Bells

Lifted Bells

Katie Hovland

Lifted Bells couldn’t have picked a better time to release their first EP than 2013, when “emo revival” had become an indie-rock buzzword. Now the local underground supergroup—made up of exacting musicians from spritely fourth-wave emo acts (including Options, Stay Ahead of the Weather, and Their/They’re/There) and second-wave heartthrob Bob Nanna (of Braid and Hey Mercedes)—have finally polished off their debut album, Minor Tantrums (Run For Cover), which they celebrate tonight. Though emo revival appears to have waned, Lifted Bells demonstrate that the best time to strike is when it feels right—regardless of whether the outside world takes note. As always, the five-piece’s ricocheting guitars and complex, interwoven instrumentals are the key to their success, but on this album Lifted Bells show they know just when and how much they can dial things back for the sake of the mood. The acoustic ballad “Miss Pedestria” sparkles with an evolving melody spiked with stinging percussion, a nimble guitar loop, and a soothing, wordless vocal melody; those magic-in-the-bottle moments can reignite entire scenes—or at least fuel one knockout band.   v

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